Marijuana Legalization: Long Lines Form for Purchase

Pam WrightLife

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Recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado on Wednesday.

What started out as a a few people lining up outside pot shops early Wednesday quickly grew to crowds of hundreds as the day progressed.

With the rise in demand came the rise in prices as well. One shop reportedly raised its price for an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45.

"What I love about it is the peacefulness of the crowd ... and the diversity," said Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks.

Chrissy and Logan Robinson were one of the first in line at one shop.

"I've been waiting 34 years for this moment," Chrissy said. "I've been smoking since I was 14. No more sneaking around."

John Stiltz, 62, was a customer who stood in line to mark the occasion.

"I smoked pot for the first time when I was 16 in the '60s," Stiltz said. "I looked forward to the day when a harmless, recreational drug would be legal. I wanted to be part of the history."

Marijuana sales are illegal in the United State under Federal Law and while other countries have decriminalization policies towards the purchase of marijuana, Colorado is the first in the world to go this far in the legalization of marijuana, and with it, comes the watchful eye of the world.

According to state law, a Colorado resident can buy and possess up to an ounce of pot, while those with an out of state ID can buy a quarter of an ounce. With it comes a 25% state tax on top of the usual sales tax of 2.9%.

People came from all over the United States to mark the occasion. John Gray, who came from St. Louis said, "I'm like, they legalized pot today? So here I am."

"It's glorious!" said another man from Omaha.

Opponents of legalization were not as thrilled with the significance of the day.

Former White House drug-policy adviser Kevin Sabet said Wednesday marks the dawn of "Big Marijuana."

"In any addictive industry, such as this one, the only way to make money is off of addiction," Sabet said.

Image via Wikimedia

Pam Wright